This is part of a continuing series counting down the top Philly lacrosse stories of 2009
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/4/10
Laura Frankenfield admitted she and the Wissahickon Lacrosse Club had modest expectations when the squad entered competition last summer in the inaugural US Lacrosse U-15 National Championships at Bel Air, Md.
After all, Wissahickon was comprised mostly of girls from its township squad and many of the 30 teams in the field were all-star and club teams. But that did not stop Wissahickon from being confident.
That confidence showed in a stunning performance by Wissahickon, which won all three of its pool play games and finished a solid fourth in the Championship Bracket.
“As a township team playing against club teams and against many girls that were older than us, it’s amazing how well we did,” said Frankenfield, now a freshman at Wissahickon High. “We are really proud of ourselves.
“I thought we did really well, taking fourth. I didn’t find any shame in that. It was an awesome accomplishment. A lot of our girls started in second grade with Wiss Lax and I thought we had really good friendships off the field and I thought somehow we brought that to the field. Every player was able to communicate.”
Also in the tourney, the Phantastix Purple squad reached the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, in the boys’ U-15 National Championships, two Philly teams, PennStar and Twist, reached the Round of 16 Championship Bracket. In the U-13 tournament, no champion was crowned, but PennStar defeated powerful Team Maryland, 10-7, to cap a perfect 6-0 weekend.
Wisshahickon swept through pool play by downing Greene Turtle Lacrosse Club, 12-7; FatCat Lacrosse (Mi), 14-4; and NorCal Gold, 15-8. That earned Wissahickon the second seed in the 16-team Championship Bracket.
In the Championship Bracket, Wissahickon toppled Synergy (Mass.), 14-10, and then handled Western Mass., 12-10, in the quarterfinals. Competition got even stiffer in the Final Four and Wissahickon played strong, but fell to Stars Gold (Va.), 14-10, in the semis and Relentless Hustle, 17-11, in the third-place consolation game.
“I think the first game was the hardest,” said Frankenfield, who finished with four goals and 10 assists in the tourney. “Greene Turtle was a Maryland team so automatically we knew they were a tough team. But once we beat them we realized we were doing pretty well and that we’d have a chance.”
Wissahickon’s team – coached by Tom Gannon and Mary Stutman – featured all rising freshman and one rising 8th grader. Twelve of the players played for Wissahickon Lacrosse Club during the season and three others who had played with Wissahickon in the US Lacrosse U-15 Festival two weeks earlier were added to the roster.
One of those players was Haley Schweizer of Ultimate Goal Lacrosse. Schweizer finished with 16 goals and four assists and was named to the Lacrosse Magazine All-Tournament team. Also for Wissahickon, Olivia Gannon had 14 goals and three assists, Maddie Quirk had 10 goals and two assists, Caroline Haynie had nine goals and four assists and Lizzie Tillger had nine goals and two assists.
The attack was very balanced for Wissahickon. At least eight players scored in each of the three pool play wins.
The Wissahickon defense also was superb. That unit was led by Rachel Flynn, Jane Black, Dominique Nyzio, and Alana Stutman as well as goalie Rachel Stone. Also making major contributions were Lyndsey Britton (four goals, two assists) and Taryn Deck (four goals, one assist) of Radnor Youth Lacrosse as well as Emilee Ehret (four goals and two assists against Synergy, seven goals overall) and Zoe Gomez (six goals, three assists).